Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If your question or concern is not addressed, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please note this information does not supersede policies described in the UNBC Undergraduate Academic Calendar, and in the event that the information below and information in the Calendar are inconsistent, the Calendar will be deemed correct.
- What is the Rural Nursing Certificate Program?
- What courses are offered in the Rural Nursing Certificate Program?
- Who can apply?
- How do I apply?
- What are the application deadlines?
- How is the Rural Nursing Certificate Program delivered?
- Do I have to complete all of the courses in Rural Nursing Certificate Program?
- Can I take only NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call?
- Can I take only NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?
- How do I become certified with BCCNP after taking NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call or NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?
- Can I challenge the exam in NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?
- What is needed to participate in distance education?
- What type of technical support is available?
- Is the Program self-paced?
- How much time will I need to spend on these courses?
- What are the practicum and workshop requirements?
- Can RNCP students complete a nursing degree?
- How much does the certificate cost?
- Is funding available to support nurses taking this program?
- How do I register for courses?
- Can I get transfer credit for similar courses taken at other institutions?
- Where will I complete my practica?
- When are RNCP courses offered?
- Are Fetal Health Surveillance and Neonatal Resuscitation required for NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care?
- Who do I contact for additional information?
The RNCP is a provincial program offered by the University of Northern British Columbia School of Nursing.
The Program delivers a practice-driven curriculum through online courses, workshops, and practical experiences to Registered Nurses and undergraduate student nurses.
There are 7 courses in the certificate program which provide students with the knowledge and clinical skills needed to deliver nursing care in rural communities and hospitals.
NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice is not a required course in the Rural Nursing Certificate Program but it is available to RNs completing the entire Program or those who are seeking certification in remote nursing only.
NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call
NURS 452-6 Chronic Disease Management, Palliative Care and Wound Care
NURS 453-3 Nursing Practice with Older Persons
NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care
NURS 455-6 Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma
NURS 456-3 Mental Health and Addictions
NURS 457-3 Living & Working in a Rural Community
NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice (This course is not required for the Rural Nursing Certificate Program but is available to RNs completing the entire Program or those who are seeking certification in remote nursing only.)
Applicants must be practicing nurses currently registered with the British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP) and must meet the UNBC admission requirements of a 2.0 CGPA in their Nursing diploma or degree.
Go to our online application site and click on the “Apply online” tab. A non-refundable application fee of $37.50 is required and applicants must send UNBC all official transcripts from their nursing degree or diploma. An additional $40 fee will be charged for out-of-province or out of country transcripts.
Applicants also need to send to the UNBC Office of the Registrar, proof of BCCNP registration. Upon admission to the Program, applicants may be sent an immunization form that must be completed by a PHN, NP, or MD.
- August 1st is the deadline for the September semester.
- December 1st is the deadline for the January semester.
All of the courses in the Program are web-based. Learn (Blackboard) is the online learning management system used to deliver the RNCP courses. Some courses include a mandatory workshop and or practicum component.
Students can complete the whole certificate or take individual courses based on interest or need. For example, NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care is a popular stand-alone course. The courses can be taken in any order; however, it is recommended NURS 451-6 Health Assessment and RN First Call be completed before NURS 455-6 Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma.
Yes, it is possible to take only NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call. Currently, this course is offered in the September and January semester.
Yes, it is possible to take only NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice. This course may be offered only in the January semester.
How do I become certified with BCCNP after taking NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call or NURS 458-6 Remote Nursing Certified Practice?
Upon successful completion of either course, the candidate completes a form 62 "Certified Practice Registration," which can be found on the BCCNP web site. For additional information on becoming certified, please visit the BCCNP Certified Practice web site.
Nurses seeking the challenge exam must contact the BC College of Nursing Professionals for determination of eligibility. Nurses deemed eligible by BCCNP are permitted to register for the challenge exam.
Students must have a home computer and access to preferably high-speed Internet. Their computer should have the latest Java installed, a word processing program, preferably Microsoft Word and a PDF reader. Feel free to contact us for more information in this regard.
We have several dedicated e-learning support staff who are available to the students from the moment they contact us about the Program. Our support staff will assist students with any technical problems they encounter throughout the course.
Our aim is to respond to email or phone messages within 24 hours or in a shorter period of time on days that assignments are due.
None of the coursework in this program is self-paced. Students must log into their courses on the first day of classes or very shortly thereafter and familiarize themselves with the course requirements i.e., due dates for assignments, participation requirements, dates for workshops and practica etc.
The certificate is designed to be completed part-time, namely 6 credit hours per semester but students can increase or decrease their load depending on their preference, course availability, and their personal circumstances. It takes 2.5 years to complete the entire certificate taking 6 credit hours per semester.
Students should budget at least 10-12 hours per week for a 3 credit course; a 6 credit course (or two 3 credit courses) requires 20-25 hours per week. People who have limited experience working on computers or who have not been students in a long while should budget for several more hours per week.
NURS 451-3 Health Assessment and RN First Call includes a five-day workshop.
NURS 454-6 Perinatal Care includes a 2-day workshop and a 144 hour (twelve-12 hour shifts) practicum.
NURS 455-6 Critical Care, Emergency and Trauma includes a 3-day workshop and a 144 hour (twelve-12 hour shifts) practicum.
NURS 458-6 Remote Certified Practice includes a workshop with an expected duration of 6 days.
Attending workshops and practicums is mandatory and will require travel and time away from home and work. The costs associated with workshops and or practicum are the sole responsibility of the student.
The Certificate requires the completion of 30 credits, which can be applied toward a BScN at UNBC. An additional 5 courses (15 credits) are required for degree completion; all of these courses are offered via distance education.
A breakdown of tuition and fees can be found at https://www.unbc.ca/calendar/undergraduate/fees
Textbook costs vary; some courses utilize online readings while other courses may require up to 3 textbooks, which total approximately $300.00.
Visit the BC Nurses' Union web site for a list of bursaries and members funding opportunities, application instructions and deadlines.
Nurses working for Northern, Interior, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Coastal and First Nations Health Authorities may be eligible for funding through their Health Authority. See contact information below:
First Nations Health
Erin Wiltse, Professional Practice Leader
Eveline Lenoble, Specialty Education
Clinical Professional Education
Michelle Sullivan, Coordinator, Specialty Education
Vancouver Coastal Health
Sandra Phone, Project Coordinator/Analyst
604-875-5600 ext. 22021
Vancouver Island Health
Enid O'Hara, Manager of Rural Service
Strathcona Corridor & Northern Gulf Islands
You must apply to UNBC to become a Rural Nursing Certificate Program student. After you have been admitted to the Program, the Rural Nursing Program Advisor will email you registration instructions.
Transfer credit may be awarded for coursework completed at other recognized institutions. All transfer credit for coursework taken prior to admission will be evaluated at the request of the student and applied at the time of initial registration in the program.
A maximum of 15 credit hours from other recognized institutions may be transferred to the RNCP and the BScN completion option.
Please contact the Rural Nursing Program Advisor for more information about transfer credit.
Practicum is arranged by the Clinical Placement Coordinator (CPC). A list of eligible facilities will be provided by the CPC and students will be given the opportunity to submit choices regarding their preferred practicum sites. Every effort will be made to secure a placement site of the student’s choice; however, the student’s preferred placement is not guaranteed and students must complete their practicum at the facility they have been assigned.
RNCP courses are offered in the Fall and Winter semesters.
Prior to the NURS 454 Perinatal Care practicum, students must provide proof of certification in the Fetal Health Surveillance course (FHS) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).
Please contact the Rural Nursing Program Advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-960-6753.